Actress Sridevi is dead

Top talent: Bollywood actress Sridevi has died (Sujit Jaiswal/ AFP/Getty Images)
Top talent: Bollywood actress Sridevi has died (Sujit Jaiswal/ AFP/Getty Images)

SRIDEVI, one of Indian cinema’s finest and most respected actresses, has died. She was 54 and is reported to have suffered a cardiac arrest in Dubai, where was was attending a family wedding.

She leaves behind her two daughters, Janhvi and Khushi, and her husband, Boney Kapoor.

With more than four decades in the film industry, Sridevi won acclaim for her versatility in front of the camera. She had a knack for comedy and was equally at ease in emotional dramas.

She started out as a child actress in south Indian cinema and was at the top of her game in the Telugu film industry before she made the move to Mumbai and Hindi cinema.

Older film fans will remember her memorable roles in Mr India, Lamhe, Chaalbaaz, while her more recent appearances in English Vinglish and Mom endeared her to a newer generation of movie-goers.

Sridevi was among few actresses who enjoyed fame in Hindi and regional cinema. Her talent saw her star with leading actors in south India as well as Mumbai.

Her role in Sadma, as a young girl suffering mental health issues, opposite veteran actor Kamal Hasan won her critical acclaim.

In Telugu films, she featured opposite greats such as Nageshwar Rao and also Venkatesh.

Sridevi made her Bollywood debut in 1978 with Solva Sawan. Five years later, it was the Jeetendra-starrer Himmatwala that gave her commercial success.

Few actresses used their eyes to convey emotion or indeed, comedy, as Sridevi did.

She ruled the Hindi film industry in the 1980s and 1990s, with hits films like Mawaali (1983), Tohfa (1984), Mr India (1987), Chandni (1989) ChaalBaaz (1989), Lamhe (1991), and Gumrah (1993).

Her co-stars included Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, the late Vinod Khanna and also Anil Kapoor, who went on to become her brother-in-law when she married Boney Kapoor.

Following her marriage, Sridevi turned her attention to bringing up her two daughters.

It was director Gauri Shinde’s English Vinglish in 2012 that marked Sridevi’s comeback.

Her measured performance as a middle-class woman, learning to speak English to feel accepted by her family, was vintage Sridevi and her portrayal won critical and commercial accolades.

Last year, Sridevi was seen in revenge-drama Mom opposite Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Akshaye Khanna. She shot for a special appearance in superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s upcoming film,  Zero, which releases in December.

She held her own among the younger actresses in the industry, many of whom could not believe the news that she was gone so young. Unlike her contemporaries who ventured into politics (Jayaprada, Hema Malini and Rekha), Sridevi preferred the film industry, where she was loved and respected.

Tributes were pouring in on social media for the actress, whose sudden death has left fans and colleagues in the industry stunned.

Sridevi’s older daughter Jahnvi is set to make her debut in films and had reportedly given the Dubai event a miss and stayed on in Mumbai.